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In an attempt to overhaul their squad and chances to achieve glory in the upcoming 2018-19 season of the top-tier of India football, I-League, Chennai City FC have are making sure there is no stone left unturned. As reported in Indian football latest news, the Chennai-based I-League outfit has successfully acquired four skilled footballers from the lower rungs of Spanish football, who will bring in a much-needed flavour to the Indian football players in Chennai City FC.
Chennai City FC coach teamed up with former Manchester City assistant Jordi Gris Vila to hunt for Spanish talent
The man behind the overhauling of the outfit is Chennai City FC coach Mohammad Akbar Bin Abdul Nawas, who took over the I-League team in March 2018. As reported in Indian football news, Nawas, who is a Singaporean international, wanted the club to play a unique style of football. As quoted by SportStar Live in Indian football news, Nawas had said,
“We like to build up from the back, dominate possession, and then play in the opponent’s half. It’s not because we want to play beautiful football, but we want to play effective football.”
Having taken over in March of 2018, Nawas had in front of himself, a mission to overhaul a team which had finished 8th in the I-League in the last edition, and fill it with the right mixture of players who would match the brand of football that Nawas was wanting them to play. He teamed up with his then assistant Jordi Gris Vila, who was an analyst with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City in the 2017-18 Premier League season to give shape to his vision.
Although Jordi Gris Vila has now left Chennai City FC in June 2018 to take up the No. 2 role at the Major League Soccer (MLS) side New York City FC, as reported in Indian football latest news, he did help Nawas rope in four Spaniards who fit the bill for CCFC for the upcoming I-League season – Pedro Manzi Javier (forward), Roberto Eslava Suarez (wingback), Sandro Rodriguez Felipe (right-side midfielder) and Nestor Gordillo (midfielder).
Till the time they hadn’t met with Akbar Nawas and Jordi Gris Vila, the Spaniards knew very little of India football. It was Vila’s persuasion and the CCF coach’s vision that convinced the quartet to set foot in India football, particularly the I-League, and play for the team for the next four years in search of I-League glory.
Challenge for the Spanish quartet would be to adapt to India football and contribute to Indian football players at CCFC
Although the influx of the Spanish quarter in a huge move for India football and Chennai City FC, the challenge for the Spaniards would be to adapt to a lot of new factors, especially as neither of them have played outside their country professionally. Speaking about this very challenge, the 29-year-old Manzi said, as reported in Indian football latest news,
“It is a great opportunity to develop as a player. The adaptation to the country, the culture, the food, the climate, the language — will be akin to starting a new life. On the field, adapting and understanding with the other players and the coach will be the challenge.”
While the Chennai City FC coach Akbar Nawas hopes that the influx of the Spanish players, who possess supreme technical skills and intellect, will help the Indian football players in the I-League team grow better, especially the young core, the 30-year-old winger Roberto Eslava Suarez believed the same.
As reported in Indian football news, Suarez said, “We have been playing for years at a good level category in Spain and I think that will help both the team and the players to take the football to a higher level.”
The preseason camp begins on August 1 in Chennai City FC for I-League 2018-19 season, and the Spaniards will be introduced to their new team-mates and facilities before that.
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